Archive for the ‘Cycling – Hub Gears’ Category
As the nights turn dark again, I’m approaching the third winter for my Alfine Tikit and I remain enamoured by the hub gear. The simple chain line and sealed gears mean it is simplicity itself to keep the chain clean and in good fettle throughout the winter. So it is good to see the range of bikes featuring the Alfine hub widening and in particular to see Versa have come up with a drop bar shifter, as on the Genesis Day One above. Put in a hub dynamo, a set of guards and a rack and the Day One would serve as an excellent year round commuter. Check it out at Tony Butterworths
An alternative, with hydraulic discs is the On One Pompetamine (interesting how the sixties bikies’ drug of choice has inspired the name – how long before we see an On One Clem I wonder?)
Trouble is, Shimano almost put you off investing. Back in February they unveiled an 11 speed version of the Alfine hub. Still waiting to see one in real life though.
An interesting find in the search for the ultimate utility/commuting bike is the Renovo Panda Urban. With SRAM iMotion 9 speed hub gears, disc brakes and a hub dynamo it ticks the three pre-requisite boxes. The novel dimension is alluded to in the name, the frame is made of bamboo. Not seen it in real life, the photos on the website give the impression of a bike that is seriously well made.
Two thoughts put me off. The excessive import taxes which would result from importing the bike from the US and the use of a chain tensioner rather than an eccentric bottom bracket to maintain chain tension. The latter point is a small one but the simpler the chain line the easier it is keep running cleanly.
To date the Tout Terrain is looking to be the favourite.
Just under a year since I got it, I’ve reached a 1000 miles on my Alfine Tikit. It has been a cold, icy winter and at times it has felt like you were cycling along the beach with the amount of grit and salt that has been spread on the roads. The bike has been out in the salt spray then back into a warm office and then back in the spray and back into a warm house on a daily basis since mid December. Ideal conditions for corrosion. Let’s start from the road up. Read the rest of this entry »
I was in Tony Butterworths last week and Max showed me a Tout Terrain Boulevard which had been on trial with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Currently the bike paramedics in Sheffield are riding Marin Point Reyes. This bike is seriously impressive, available with a Rohloff or Alfine hub, it is the attention to detail which struck me. The bike has an integrated rear rack and the rear light is dynamo driven with the cable routed through the rack. Similar attention to detail is in evidence at the front, with a small brazing for the cable guide on the back of the fork and mudguard eyes up the fork to avoid the disc mechanism. Unfortunately (or rather fortunately for the family budget) the bike wasn’t for sale. Apparently a belt drive version will be available from next month, needing even less maintenance. Could this be the future of commuting?
My usual response to this question is that it doesn’t actually rain that often and anyway it doesn’t really matter if you are well prepared. This month I have seen the first part of this answer severely tested. Apparently the wettest November since Novembers began, it did start to get a bit tiresome.
However it give the opportunity to test out my preparedness. And full marks go to:- Read the rest of this entry »